Just one week after announcing his impending retirement, Jan Rája rode two winners to complete his 500 winners on the flat, in addition to 14 winners over fences earlier in his career. 500 winners on the flat, almost all of them in the Czech Republic or in Slovakia, is a tremendous lifetime achievement by Jan. Well done!
At the age of 20, grey mare Sixteen, two-time winner of the Velka Pardubicka, has had to be put down. She ran in the colours of BUC Film, and she spent the last years of her life in the riding section of the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague – Suchdol.
The 100th Czech Derby was run at Prague Velká Chuchle racecourse on September 7th. It was of course a pity to celebrate such a notable anniversary in front of a crowed limited to 1 000 because of the covid situation.
2 September 2020, Prague – This year’s season at Velká Chuchle racecourse in the suburbs of Prague is gradually moving into its second half. After the CSIO3* international showjumping competition, in which the Czech showjumping team qualified successfully for the Olympic Games in Tokio, September 6th will feature the Czech Derby, the absolute high point of the Czech horseracing season. This will be the 100th running of the race at Velká Chuchle racecourse, the home of the Czech Derby.
It really is not getting any easier to write these monthly newsletters. I have not been racing this year, as my wife and I are in the over 70s age group (without a pre-existing condition). Neither of us is personally awfully scared of catching the virus – but neither of us wants our partner to be infected.
There was some good rain in Pardubice on the day before the last of the four qualification races for VP2020. The race was run on a cool day, and the going was 3.2 (good to firm). In this exceptional year, all four qualification races were run in July and August. There were hot, dry spells in these months in Pardubice, as usual.
The Jockey Club of the Czech Republic has set up a charitable foundation